Monday, September 1, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

I-80/680 interchange project work begins

i80-i680 interchange groundbreaking 6_2_14

Interstate-80/Interstate-680/Highway 12 interchange project manager Mike Lohman, left, and engineer Jason Hickey, right, look at a plan of the project with Metropolitan Transportation Commission planner Kenneth Kao, center, at a groundbreaking event, Monday. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

By
From page B6 | June 04, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — Phase 1 of the seven-phase plan to renovate the Interstates 80 and 680 interchange complex got an official start Monday with a groundbreaking ceremony.

This initial project doesn’t include work on the Interstates 80 and 680 interchange structure itself, but rather replaces the nearby Green Valley interchange. For that reason, transportation and civic leaders gathered in the now-closed Green Valley park-and ride lot along the Green Valley Road onramp to westbound I-80.

Workers over the next one-and-a-half years will build a new Green Valley interchange slightly to the east of the existing one. This new interchange will have a four-lane overpass as opposed to two lanes. Workers will also build new onramps to better sort out traffic merging from Green Valley Road onto westbound I-80 and I-80 traffic exiting onto westbound Highway 12 at Jameson Canyon.

“That’s the most beneficial element for the freeway traffic,” Solano Transportation Authority Director of Projects Janet Adams said before the ceremony.

Much of the work will be done alongside the freeway and won’t affect freeway traffic, as was the case with the nearby eastbound I-80 truck scales project, she said. But Interstate 80 will have nighttime closures when workers put in the support system for the new overpass and weekend closures when they demolish the existing overpass, she said.

Construction is to be done by DeSilva Gates Construction of Dublin and cost $64 million. The entire Phase 1 project, including design and environmental mitigations, is to cost about $110 million. All seven phases will cost an estimated $740 million.

Talk of renovating the Interstates 80 and 680 interchange has gone on for more than a quarter century. Doing the environmental impact report for the massive project, which is really a series of projects to improve freeway traffic in Fairfield, took a decade.

The groundbreaking ceremony began at 10 a.m. with speeches.

“It really is a pleasure to break ground on a project I know we have been waiting for for so long,” said Bijan Sartipi, director of the state Department of Transportation District 4.

A strong, cool wind pounded the site and the noise of autos and trucks came from I-80 only a few yards away.

“Would the Highway Patrol shut down the traffic so we can hear?” joked Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove.

State Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, stressed that the project will improve safety on the freeway.

Several speakers praised the partnership among the Solano Transportation Authority, Caltrans, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Fairfield and the Federal Highway Administration for making the project possible.

County Supervisor Jim Spering added another partner to the list, calling voters the “real heroes.” He noted that much of the money for the project came from voter-approved measures, both statewide and regional.

“If it wasn’t for the voters, these resources wouldn’t be here,” Spering said.

Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Oakley, Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty, California Transportation Commissioner James Madaffer and Federal Highway Administration Director of Program Development Jermaine Hannon also spoke.

Future phases of Interstates 80 and 680 interchange complex renovations include building a new Red Top Road interchange on I-680, a connection for Business Center Drive to Highway 12 in Jameson Canyon and a combined Interstates 80-680-Highway 12 interchange near the entrance to Jameson Canyon. But money must still be found to build these projects.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or beberling@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.
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Discussion | 5 comments

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  • SixStrRzrJune 03, 2014 - 7:39 am

    Oh Joy...

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • AlfJune 03, 2014 - 8:40 am

    If you had to enter westbound 80 from Green Valley, or try to exit 80 at Highway 12 every morning, you wouldn't be so sarcastic. Or if you want to see goods moving through Solano County, or possibly manufacturing move here, you might feel differently.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JakeJune 03, 2014 - 9:52 am

    This was a long time coming. Whoever designed that whole area had no idea what they were doing. You had a truck stop, the Suisun Valley Road exit (Solano College and Business traffic), 680 and 12/Jameson Canyon all within a couple miles of each other. The recent carpool lanes and new truck stop have helped and hopefully these changes will too.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • BobJune 04, 2014 - 10:37 am

    Ok so Caltrans is going to fix the interchange just like they fixed the bay bridge. Yes it's less complicated, yes the Chinese won't be involved? Yes we hope local contractors will be used, no they will bring in some one from LA with workers. Local hotels and rv parks will benefit and some bars and markets but very few Solano residents will actually work on this I would like published numbers of out of town verses local workers the picture shows all of our politicians up for reelection but not one word from any of them about job opportunities for locals was heard, nothing to say Jim? Lois? Didn't think so we are to wrapped up in ourselves to care about work for locals. Keep an eye on this one folks

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • AlfJune 04, 2014 - 9:01 pm

    The contractor is from Sonoma County. Solano County is not home to any large general engineering contractors.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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